This theme explores the role of women in American society and the gains women have made in securing their full rights as American citizens.
APUSH 8th Period
1600’s During the 16th century, English Calvinists led a protestant movement called Puritanism. Within the early 17th century English monarchs persecuted the puritans, and with banishment set off for a new place to practice their faith. They set off and with winter approaching they agreed to land and get settled. The settlement was known as Plymouth. Expecting their faith “laws” still be followed. Their faith had included that women be observant of moral law and of good deeds. Their faith was basically trying to say women had no rights to speak out for anything. Yet Anne Hutchinson spoke out with her actions, she was a prominent proponent of antinomianism. She challenged the authority of the Puritan clergy and the puritan beliefs with her teachings. Many turned against her at the fact that she was intelligent, well educated, and a powerful women in a resolutely patriarchal society. She was tried for heresy, convicted and was banished. But many women followed after Hutchinson and were banished, once banished they practiced witchcraft, and were by then so called “witches.” Many people grew terrified of this new practiced religion and accused, mainly women, on being witches leading to began to Salem Witch Trials. Many Puritans believed that the devil had corrupted this people into doing his duties on the earth. Many believed that all the misfortunes were attributed to the work of the devil; when things like infant death, crop failures or friction among the congregation occurred, the supernatural was blamed. Because of the unusual size of the outbreak of witchcraft accusations, many were accused and prosecuted for the punishment.
1700’s Women’s roles, such as courtship, marriage and motherhood, were reevaluated and its ideals in the 1790s. Women had an important civil role and responsibility, though they were largely excluded from political activity. While public virtue had been strictly of masculine quality, private virtue was an important role given to women. Be the perfect Republican Mother. Women were expected to be the ideal stay at home mother. They had the task of inspiring and teaching their sons to be good citizens through motherhood and romance. Women started to teach their sons to let men educate women to be able to speak out, that it would lead to better citizens and better mothers. Though the obligations of women had grown, traditional gender roles were largely unchanged as the education of women was meant to only service to their husbands and family. With the creation of the Declaration of Independence and its signing on July 4, 1776, it triggered the Revolutionary War as it became a war for their independence. Many women played a significant role in the Revolutionary War, either as “Camp Followers” or by maintaining households and businesses while the men were off fighting the Revolution. Abigail Adams pleaded to her husband in a letter the case for women’s rights in the new government and reminded him to “remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.” It would take two World Wars to help bring about political and economic equality for women.
1800-1850’s From 1800-1850‘s, women who lived on farms began working in the textile industry in the beginning of the nineteenth century. During the war of 1812, textile mills were created in New England that produced thread which then local women were hired to weave the thread into cloth. The final product from the invention of the power loom, in 1813, was high quality and inexpensive that women began buying their own cloths who had previously woven their own fabrics. There was rapid growth of the textile industry that resulted in the most famous worker-enticement program called the “Lowell system” (“Waltham system”) as a way to keep their workers. Women from the middle and upper classes were also the most active members of reform groups in religious and social movements. Temperance societies encouraged people to sign a pledge to not drink yet not everyone continued drinking as it was a social evil. There was also a group called “The Female Moral Reform Society” that focused on eliminating prostitution and rehabilitating the women who were involved in it. The first women’s rights convention was held in 1848 in Seneca Falls in upstate New York made by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. Women involved in the reform movement along with Stanton and Mott published the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments of Women. This made the declaration add “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal.” Before the 1830’s, women took a prominent role in the abolition movement. The women in mid-1800s were courageous to stand up for what they believed. During the Civil War, the women concentrated on abolition and yet after the war, they expected equality and for the blacks but were disappointed when the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments restricted the right to vote to male citizens. The abolitionist and women's movements split after this. Around 1850, about 20% of all women were employed at some time prior to marriage. As these women left their paying jobs to work as wives and mothers, they cherished “cult of domesticity.” They commanded immense moral power and made decisions that altered the character of the family itself.
1851-1900’s The years following 1851, women were not allowed to vote along with black men except in few northern states at this time. The Fourteenth Amendment was now included to the Constitution as Congressional Reconstruction made a plan called for the punishment of the South and their slaves. Labor cuts were reduced as women were hired to work at factories as manufacturers maximized profits in every way they could imagine. With little money being made by the women, life in the cities suffered poverty, crime, disease, and lack of livable housing. City life was dirtier for the families of the women during this time. Years after 1887, Susan B. Anthony led the fight of women’s suffrage as an important political issue. Women were now treated the same as men and later on as Anthony founded the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1869. This was to convince Congress a suffrage amendment to the Constitution. With the help of the American Suffrage Association fighting for women’s suffrage, years later came the nineteenth amendment of women gaining the right to vote as well as the feminist movement. Women won the vote in the United States through a constitutional amendment, finally ratified. Along the road to winning the vote, states and localities gave the right to vote to women within their jurisdictions
1901-1950 During the 1920s after the World War I, is the age when the role of women had changed from passive to active in society. Women were much more than just looking after their children and doing housework at home. This was a result of World War I because while all the men were off at war the women were left to support themselves. They began to work outside and attend school. The first minimum wage law in America was passed in Massachusetts in 1912. In 1923 Adkins v. Children's Hospital, a United States Supreme Court opinion, held that federal minimum wage legislation for women was an unconstitutional infringement of liberty of contract, as protected by the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment. The Progressive Era was a period of social activism and political reform in the United States. The Progressive movement supported issues such as undercutting political machines, prohibition, and women’s suffrage. The women’s group campaigned for suffrage. This opposition led to the feminist movement. Margaret Sanger was the first to promote contraceptives. The greatest accomplishment during 1901-1920 was the Nineteenth Amendment (June 4, 1919) and while all this was going on they also brought out a new style known as the flapper. Rosie the Riveter was also a cultural icon during World War II. May women worked in factories that produced supplies for the war. Rosie was a symbol for feminism and women’s economic power.
1951-Present Day Women in the 1950s were seen as only being able to work at home and take care of the family. Women didn’t have the equal rights as men in the work force or in society. Rosa Parks was an important woman figure during the 1950s. She refused to give up her seat on a bus which got her arrested which led to the Montgomery bus boycott. Kennedy also supported women’s rights. Congress enacted the Equal Pay Act in 1963 that required men and women to get paid equal for equal work, unfortunately employers found a way around having to pay women equally. After Kennedy was killed Lyndon Johnson was able to push the Civil Act of 1964. In 1963 Betty Friedan wrote a book, The Feminine Mystique that challenged societies view on the role of women. Betty Friedan was also one of the founders of the NOW, National Organization forWomen formed in 1966. Feminists fought against many issues including pay, college admissions, financial aid, and discrimination of hiring. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was a proposed amendment in 1923 designed to guarantee equal rights for women. The ERA did not receive enough ratification before the deadline so it was not adopted. A famous Supreme Court case in 1973 that fought for control of reproductive rights was Roe v. Wade. The controversial question about the decision of reproductive rights is still an issue now in present day. The role of women in our society has changed significantly in the past three decades. Women and girls have many more opportunities and face different challenges. In present day there are women out in the work force, women political leaders, and women have equal rights as men.
Puritanism- adherent’s desire to purify the Anglican church of Roman Catholic practices.
Plymouth- settlement during harsh winter (1st colony that did not make it).
Anne Hutchinson- a women who challenged the Puritan society.
Antinomianism- belief that faith had God’s grace, suffice to earn one a place among the “elect”.
Patriarchal society- a social system in which the male is the primary authority figure.
Witchcraft- is the use of magical faculties, most commonly for religious, divinatory or medicinal purposes.
Salem Witch Trials- were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial.
Private- behind everything. On the side line. At home.
Republican Mother- Stay at home mother tending to their family and husbands needs.
Declaration of Independence- articulates the principle of individual liberty and the government’s fundamental responsibility to serve the people.
Revolutionary War- the American War of Independence.
Camp Followers- tended to laundering and mending clothing, cooking meals and nursing the wounded.
Abigail Adams- wrote a famous letter to her husband regarding the women’s rights in the new government.
Power loom - textile manufacturers could produce both thread and finished fabric in their own factories, quickly and efficiently.
Lowell system - it guaranteed employees housing in respectable, chaperoned boardinghouses; cash wages; and participation in cultural and social events organized by the mill.
Temperance societies - encourage people to sign the pledge not to drink and remained powerful until the adoption of the Eighteenth Amendment in 1919.
Prostitution - The corrupt use of one's talents for personal or financial gain.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton - American social activist, abolitionist, and leading figure of the early women's rights movement.
Lucretia Mott - an American Quaker, abolitionist, a women's rights activist, and a social reformer.
Declaration of Rights and Sentiments of Women - a document signed in 1848 by 68 women and 32 men—100 out of some 300 attendees at the first women's rights convention.
Abolition movement - the movement concentrated on ending slavery in the united states / caused the greatest tension between the north and south / often disagreed on tactics / many did not want women involved
Cult of domesticity - a widespread cultural creed that glorified the customary functions of the homemaker.
National Woman Suffrage Association - The National Association was created in response to a split in the American Equal Rights Association over whether the woman's movement should support the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Fourteenth Amendment - (1) stated that if you are born in the United States, you are a citizen of the United States and you are a citizen of the state where you reside; (2) prohibited states from depriving any citizen of “life, liberty, or property without due process of law”; (3) prevented states from depriving any citizen “equal protection of the law”; (4) gave states the choice either to give freedom the right to vote or to stop counting them among their voting population for the purpose of congressional apportionment; (5) barred prominent Confederates from holding political office; and (6) excused the Confederacy’s war debt.
Congressional Reconstruction - to restructure the political, legal, and economic systems in the states that had seceded from the Union.
Susan B. Anthony - a prominent American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century women's rights movement to introduce women's suffrage into the United States.
Women’s suffrage - the right to vote.
American Suffrage Association - to push for equal rights for both African Americans and women, and especially to work for universal suffrage, the right to vote given to all people.
Feminist - A person who supports feminism.
(1901-1950, 1951-Present Day)
Fifth Amendment - protects against abuse of government authority in a legal procedure.
Feminist - a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic and social rights for women.
Margaret Sanger - was an American birth control activist, sex educator, and nurse.
Nineteenth Amendment - gave the women the right to vote.
Flapper - a "new breed" of young Western women in the 1920s.
Rosa Parks - was an African-American civil rights activist, whom the U.S. Congress called "the first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement".
Women’s Rights - the rights and entitlements claimed for women and girls of many societies.
Equal Pay Act - required that men and women receive equal pay for equal work.
Civil Act of 1964 - legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities, and also women.
Betty Friedan - A leading figure in the women's movement in the United States, feminist, author, a founder of the NOW.
The Feminine Mystique - a nonfiction book by Betty Friedan, first published in 1963, which is widely credited with sparking the beginning of second-wave feminism in the United States.
National Organization of Women(NOW) - organization founded in 1966 set up for the advancement of women.
Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) - proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal rights for women.
Roe v. Wade- by the United States Supreme Court on the issue to obtain abortions in all 50 states within the first trimester.